MADISON -- Gov. Tony Evers today with Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), and the Population Health Institute (PHI) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, announced the Just Recovery for Racial Equity initiative.
“COVID-19 has had a devastating and disproportionate impact on communities of color across the state of Wisconsin,” said Gov. Evers. “We must take urgent and meaningful action to change that, and the Just Recovery initiative gives us the opportunity to mobilize community-based organizations to partner in this important work.”
Data show people of color in Wisconsin are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Black, Latinx, and Indigenous populations are significantly over-represented among COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. In comparison to white Wisconsinites, Latinx Wisconsinites have 3.3 times the case rate, and Black Wisconsinites have a death rate 3.5 times higher.
“We have been grappling with significant health and economic inequities in our state for years, and COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities have only made the situation more dire,” said Lt. Gov. Barnes. "It’s critical that our recovery from this crisis is inclusive and equitable, so we must start by supporting the work that community-based organizations are already doing to address these systemic inequities and connect the dots in their own communities.”
Just Recovery will identify and support strategies for responding to COVID-19, recovery, and building resilience in communities of color by partnering with community-based organizations and local groups, including other government and social service agencies. All media, outreach, and educational materials will be developed in multiple languages and will be distributed simultaneously with English language materials.
$2.6 million will support the Just Recovery initiative. The funding will provide for grants to be awarded to community-based organizations as well as staffing, translation services, and program evaluation administered by PHI.